February 2017 Sightings

Will Kerling

Cape May NWR - CMCH, NJ
Cape May County, NJ

It was near 50 degrees and I found 2 fresh Orange Sulphurs. Hopefully, an overwintering butterfly will reveal itself to me soon.

[This is our first record for February and probably ensures that we will have butterfly records for all 12 months of 2017. In five of our log's ten years – 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2015 – we had no records at all for January or February – or both. Nice find, Will! jc]

  • Orange Sulphur 2

Orange Sulphur

Orange Sulphur

Jack Miller

Fulling Mill rd, across from par 3 golfcourse
Cape May County, NJ

Very active. One of four was white form.

  • Orange Sulphur 4

Orange Sulphur (white form)

Steven Glynn and Harvey Tomlinson

Dix WMA near Fairton
Cumberland County, NJ

[Another American snout record – three on the day – suggesting the species is capable of over-wintering in southern NJ (in warm winters). Very interesting! jc]

  • American Snout 1
  • Anglewing sp. 1

Steven Glynn and Harvey Tomlinson

Hansey Creek Road
Cumberland County, NJ

Partly to mostly sunny, high reaching 69 degrees. Very happy with the activity and surprise finds. All overwintering butterflies. Everything flying wasn't sitting very long and soon disappeared on us.

[Moderator's Note: These three species are all new for 2017. Nice! This is the second year in a row that we have found American snout apparently over-wintering in the adult stage in southern NJ. jc]

  • American Snout 1
  • Anglewing sp. 4
  • Question Mark 1
  • Mourning Cloak 1

American Snout

Mourning Cloak

Question Mark

Will Kerling

Cape May NWR - Cape May CH, NJ
Cape May County, NJ

Found only one Orange Sulphur. Did discover different wasp species, a Lady Bug, a Milkweed Bug and my first Winter Firefly in other locations.

  • Orange Sulphur 1

Orange Sulphur

Jack Miller

Old Robbins Trail
Cape May County, NJ

11:30- 12:30, 65-70, light breeze, sun through high clouds. Many times I have noticed that one bfly often flushes other bflys even of disparate species, and that is what happened today. Within a minute in a 20 yard stretch I saw two bflys. The azure did not land, but I got to follow it down the road until it veered off. I was fortunate to get a long range shot of the snout. In the last 3 days, I have walked more than 15 miles including hours of fruitless searching in CMWR, Belleplain, Higbee Beach and MacNamara, but finally had this lucky stretch. I also saw 6 spotted turtles late in the day at MacNamara.

[Cool! Or, actually, surprisingly warm. On a 70+ degree day we had three records of American snouts on 2-8-17 (see Steve G and Harvey T's reports below) and our first blueberry azure of the year. The latter is our second-earliest ever – topped only by last year's freakish appearance of the species on January 10 (and in December, 2015). jc]

  • Blueberry Azure 1
  • American Snout 1

American Snout

Matt Webster

Dambly's Garden Center, Berlin, NJ
Camden County, NJ

This CW was soaking in the sun on the inside of our front door at the garden center. Though I wouldn't presume this qualifies as a legitimate sighting, it was still pretty neat! There is mild heating inside our garden center over the winter, so I'm assuming it pupated in the fall, and now has just hatched due to a few warmer days.

[Moderator: I agree with Matt that this is probably too "artificial" to count as our FOY for the species in 2017. (It would also break our all-time earliest date of 2-27-12 by almost two weeks.) However, let's see what happens this weekend with the 60+ degrees predicted. If we have another cabbage white sighting, we may have to rethink. jc]

  • Cabbage White 1

Cabbage White

Harvey Tomlinson

LTS Right-of Way
Cape May County, NJ

Even though this powerline has been clear-cut there is hope for the Elfins. The edges and side roads should support this year's brood giving them another year for the habitat to recover. Snout has obviously overwintered after having a good year last year.

  • American Snout 1
  • Mourning Cloak 1

American Snout

Mourning Cloak

Cynthia Allen

Beaver Dam Rd.
Cape May County, NJ

I was somewhat surprised by this sighting on the hill where Mourning Cloaks are often seen. This Red Admiral was in good shape and active.

[This is our FOY for red admiral for 2017. Last reports of the species were in the first week of December. Neat! jc]

  • Red Admiral 1

Cynthia Allen

My yard in CMCH
Cape May County, NJ

I saw this E. Comma in flight, then perched in a pine, and finally it landed on the ground right in front of me.

[This and the commas reported by Steve G and Harvey T are our FOYs for 2017 – the first reported since Dec 1. jc]

  • Eastern Comma 1

Will Kerling

Beaver Dam Road off Gravel Hole Road
Cape May County, NJ

Found 2 fresh Blueberry Azures on the road and 2 active Question Marks.

  • Blueberry Azure 2
  • Question Mark 2

Steven Glynn and Harvey Tomlinson

Inside Bevan WMA, along Shaw's Mill road
Cumberland County, NJ

Strong numbers again on a 71 degree February day. The inside road was calm and warm. Most of the butterflies were patrolling along stretches of the road or a nearby powerline cut area.

[We had two reports of eastern comma today – see C. Allen's report above. American snouts now outnumber any other February in our ten years. jc]

  • American Snout 3
  • Anglewing sp. 3
  • Question Mark 2
  • Eastern Comma 2
  • Mourning Cloak 1

Question Mark

Eastern Comma

American Snout

Brian Johnson

Belleplain State Forest sand road south of Joe Mason Road
Cape May County, NJ

  • Mourning Cloak 2
  • Red Admiral 1

Sandra Keller & Chris Herz

Glassboro Woods
Gloucester County, NJ

Checked out several spots but only activity near Carpenter & "nowhere road"–possible 2nd anglewing here.

  • Anglewing sp. 1
  • Mourning Cloak 2

Jack Miller

Old Robbins Trail
Cape May County, NJ

The two photos are of one butterfly. The dorsal view is comma while the ventral view field call might easily be question mark. Oh, the mistakes that can be made.

  • Anglewing sp. 2
  • Eastern Comma 2

Eastern Comma

Eastern Comma

Will Kerling

Railroad Track along Magnolia Drive - CMCH, NJ
Cape May County, NJ

Discovered a Mourning Cloak and a Question Mark moving in and out of the forest.
The Question Mark landed on a railroad tie.

  • Question Mark 1
  • Mourning Cloak 1

Question Mark

Jack Miller

Griscom Mill Rd Tuckahoe Corbin City WMA
Atlantic County, NJ

  • Mourning Cloak 1

Will Kerling

Beaver Dam Road off Gravel Hole Road
Cape May County, NJ

Found five species of butterflies at this location and a 6th butterfly species elsewhere which is now my personal high for the month of February through the years.

  • Blueberry Azure 2
  • American Snout 2
  • Question Mark 2
  • Eastern Comma 1
  • Mourning Cloak 1

Mourning Cloak

Will Kerling

Cape May NWR - CMCH, NJ
Cape May County, NJ

The heat brought out 3 fresh Orange Sulphurs in a field that appeared to be done producing them for awhile.

  • Orange Sulphur 3

Steven Glynn

Bailey Road, Cedarville, NJ
Cumberland County, NJ

Sunny, warm (72 degrees) with activity seen in early afternoon.

  • Anglewing sp. 2
  • Eastern Comma 2
  • Mourning Cloak 1

Jack Miller and Harvey Tomlinson

Beaver Dam Rd Cape May Co.
Cape May County, NJ

First stop. Full sun, light breeze, temperature rising into the low 70's. I ran into Harvey as we were both here hoping to spy azures. No luck here, however.

  • American Snout 2
  • Anglewing sp. 2
  • Mourning Cloak 2

American Snout

Steven Glynn

Peaslee WMA areas (Union Rd. & Hesstown Rd. access points)
Cumberland County, NJ

Sunny and warm (71 degrees), with expected activity in the late morning.

  • Anglewing sp. 3
  • Eastern Comma 2
  • Mourning Cloak 3

Eastern Comma

Mourning Cloak

David L. Amadio

At work in Cherry Hill
Camden County, NJ

At 12:30 it was sunny and 62 degrees. As I was returning to work from lunch, a Mourning Cloak floated over the parking lot about 30 feet off the ground.

  • Mourning Cloak 1

Cynthia Allen

Woodcock Trail at Cape May NWR
Cape May County, NJ

The Am. Snout was flying slowly low to the ground when it suddenly shot up into a dense thicket of trees. This species was also observed at Woodcock Trail in early March 2012 by Pat and Clay Sutton.

  • American Snout 1
  • Anglewing sp. 1

Pat & Clay Sutton

Belleplain State Forest - East Ck Tr (w of E Ck Lake)
Cape May County, NJ

  • Anglewing sp. 2
  • Eastern Comma 3

Harvey Tomlinson and Jack Miller

Beaver Dam Rd
Cape May County, NJ

Jack and I arrived and left at different times but the bugs below we saw together. Snouts continue to amaze

  • American Snout 3
  • Anglewing sp. 2
  • Mourning Cloak 3

American Snout

Jack Miller

MacNamara
Cape May County, NJ

Last stop of the day. Cool dogfights between the Red Admiral and E. comma. Strange that this Admiral was in the exact location of my first one last year on 3-1-16. Azure photos are of two different bugs. I am quite sure that I have never photoed 6 different butterflies on one February day before.

  • Blueberry Azure 2
  • Eastern Comma 1
  • Mourning Cloak 1
  • Red Admiral 1

Red Admiral

Blueberry Azure

Eastern Comma

Mourning Cloak

Blueberry Azure

Jack Miller

Upper Champion Rd
Cape May County, NJ

A challenging bfly who insisted on staying high in some pines.

  • Question Mark 1

Question Mark

David L. Amadio

Glassboro WMA
Gloucester County, NJ

All four anglewings were most uncooperative. While the air temp exceeded 70 degrees, the sand roads were quite cold to the touch. The highlight here today was an absolutely stunning Red Shouldered Hawk.

  • Anglewing sp. 4
  • Mourning Cloak 2

Mourning Cloak

Will Kerling

Beaver Dam Road off Gravel Hole Road
Cape May County, NJ

Discovered three species of overwintering butterflies - no snouts. That comes later in the day from a new location.

  • Anglewing sp. 1
  • Question Mark 1
  • Eastern Comma 1
  • Mourning Cloak 1